This week marked the end of an era at Richfield Residential Hall as four dedicated members of our team headed off into the sunset of retirement. Over the past week, staff have reminisced, laughed and shared embarrassing stories about Dorie, Rose, Ruby and Pete. While we will miss them on our campus, we are excited for the adventures they will have as the turn the page in this new chapter of their lives.
Dorothy Martin has been dazzling RRH students and staff alike with special deserts and made from scratch meals for 12 years now. While she has loved sending RRH students off to school with full bellies every day, she is looking forward to traveling around the country to visit her children and grandchildren.
Everybody’s favorite Uncle Pete is hanging up his tool belt after 13 years of service as RRH’s Facility Manager. Pete took great care of our facilities and was always willing to help with anything that was needed. He made sure every kid received lunch and a story or two when they were home sick from school. Pete is a man of many talents and he loved the time he spent with the students. He looked forward to teaching them how to make jerky and dry fish each year. With kids and grand-kids from California to Pennsylvania, Pete will be burning up the road on his Harley Police Special to visit his little ones. Keep an eye out for a crazy hippie in Tuba City or Gallup as well, because with Pete, you never know!
After 31 years of feeding our students, RRH Foodservice Supervisor, Rose Janec has decided that it is time to go home and cook for her family. Rose has ensured that thousands of students are well fed and ready to perform at their best in school, sports or whatever else they may be involved in. She took special pride in the KP program that she developed and continued to improve through the years. In that program, Rose taught hundreds of students how to be successful, hard-working employees. Every year, we hear from former students who say they owe a great deal of their success as adults to the lessons they learned in Rose’s KP program. Rose is also looking forward to visiting her grandchildren in the western states as well as her family in Oklahoma.
For the first time in 40 years, Ruby Yepa will not be waiting to greet students with her signature smile when they arrive next fall. Ms. Yepa has served as a Homeliving Assistant for four decades on our campus and is a legend among former students. She has spent countless hours helping young people to become their best selves. She says, “I have really enjoyed it here. My kids keep telling me to retire, but I just love the kids.” While a few students tried hikjacking her crutches to keep her here, she has decided that it is time that she spent some time with her own family. Ms. Yepa plans to move to the Albuquerque area to spend time with her son and relatives.
RRH will certainly be a different place without each of these special people who have given so much of themselves to make our program all that it is today. However, a piece of each of them will always live on as their legacy. We wish each of them the best and hope to see them visiting our campus regularly!